Chicken Nuggets

Gluten free chicken nuggets with organic chicken thighs, pork rind panko, and secret dipping sauce. Like Mc'Donalds, only way better for you.

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chicken nuggets

Rose and I made these chicken nuggets on Instagram stories the other day and they were a hit. These homemade chicken nuggets are gluten free and low carb, and made from grinding chicken thighs in a food processor. I am not a fan of making nuggets from chunks of chicken, I want them to be like the one from Mc’Donalds.

The nuggets served at fast food places are made with scary ingredients and cooked in the worst quality oil, my nuggets are what you want to feed you kids. I have options for frying in avocado oil, baking in the oven, and cooking in the air fryer, but I recommend shallow frying in avocado oil like I did.

Get some more healthy’ish recipes after you have made these, like my grilled cheese recipes.

How To Make Chicken Nuggets

The key to my homemade chicken nugget recipe is grinding the organic chicken thighs in a food processor. This will give them the same texture as the one at Mc’Donalds, only way better for you. Add the chicken thighs, spices, and along flour soaked in water to a processor and blend away.

The almond flour is important, as it make the texture of the chicken nuggets like, just like breadcrumbs do for a meatball. Grab 2 tablespoons of meat mixture using wet hands and form nugget shapes and place on a piece of parchment paper.

Dip the nuggets in seasoned tapioca flour, egg wash, and pork rind panko. Pork panko makes this recipe low carb and gets nice and crispy in the avocado oil, but you can also use gluten free panko or breadcrumbs.

Fry in small batches for 5 minutes or until golden brown and move nuggets to a wire rack sheet inside a shett tray. Immediately sprinkle over some salt and fry some more. Make sure to smash the nuggets and really press down before frying, as they tend to plump up while cooking.

chicken nuggets
Gluten free chicken nugget recipe

Should I Use White Or Dark Meat For Nuggets?

Always use dark chicken thigh meat for making nuggets, white breast meat dries out way too easily and won;t have the right texture. Some folks like to make chicken tenders and not puree the meat in a food processor.

If doing this, I would still following my recipe but use chicken thigh tenders. The coating will be super crispy and the meat won’t dry out.

How To Make Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets?

It’s easy to make chicken nuggets gluten free and even low carb. For this recipe I used pork rind panko, which fries up incredibly well, but you can also use gluten free panko breadcrumbs. Ian’s gluten free panko is pretty good, or you can also get puffed rice crumbs from Trader Joe’s.

Check out more of my recipes:

chicken nuggets

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken nuggets, mcnuggets, nuggets
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 50 nuggets
Author: Bobby Parrish

Low carb chicken nuggets coated in pork rinds, cooked in avocado oil, and served with secret sauce. Like Mc'Donalds, only better.



For the nuggets:

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs boneless & skinless
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1.5 cups tapioca starch or arrowroot starch
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups pork rind panko or gluten free breadcrumbs
  • Avocado oil

For the secret sauce:

  • 1/3 cup avocado oil mayo
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup no sugar added
  • 1 tablespoon dill relish no sugar added
  • ¾ teaspoon tabasco sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt & couple cracks of fresh pepper


  1. Slowly bring the avocado oil to 350F in a medium size pot. If baking, preheat oven to 425F. Add the almond flour to a bowl and cover with enough water to make it wet and mushy, set aside. Add the chicken thighs to a food processor along with the onion and garlic powder, 2 teaspoons of salt, and few cracks of pepper. Add the almond flour mixture and pulse until well combined and finely minced. You will need to stir the mixture with a spoon to make sure everything gets mixed evenly.
  2. Place the eggs in one dish with 1 tablespoon of water and mix well. Place the tapioca starch in another dish along with a pinch of salt and pepper, mix well. Add the pork panko to another bowl, if using breadcrumbs season with salt and pepper. Measure 2 tablespoons of chicken mixture and from into a nugget shape using wet hands. Dip the nuggets in tapioca starch and make sure they are well coated, shake off the excess, dip in egg wash, shake off excess, then dip in the pork panko and make sure to cover well. Repeat with the remaining nuggets and place them on a wire rack set inside a sheet tray.
  3. If deep frying, which I recommend, fry in small batches for 5 minutes until deep golden brown. Before adding to oil, make sure to press the nuggets down to flatten quite a bit, or they will plump up like a fotball while frying. If baking in the oven, bake at 425F for 20 minutes and make sure the nuggets are set on a wire rack inside a sheet tray and spray them with avocado oil all over before baking. Also, you can air fry at 425F for about 10 minutes. You can freeze the nuggets once they are breaded and fry later.

  4. Meanwhile, make the secret sauce by combining everything in a small bowl and whisking well. Check for seasoning and serve with the nuggets. Enjoy!

Recipe Video

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